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America Ferrera: An Actress and Activist Icon

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

America Ferrera is best known for her work as an actress, with roles like Amy in Superstore, a show that she also worked to produce, and a quirky Betty Suarez in Ugly Betty. And who could forget her as Carmen in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants alongside a young Blake Lively and Alexis Bledel?

Most recently, Ferrera starred in the new Barbie movie as Gloria, a human who causes Barbie’s existential crisis and subsequently helps save Barbieland. Of course, she also delivered Barbie’s quintessential womanhood monologue, bringing the theaters across the world to tears.

America Ferrera may have been the best actress to deliver this monumental monologue, as she is an extremely vocal feminist both on social media and in the political sphere. In 2017 Ferrera delivered a similar speech to 1.2 million people at the Women’s March on Washington, urging them to maintain the momentum of the movement.

Activism is one of Ferrera’s many callings. In fact, in an interview with LAist 89.3FM, the television star revealed that she almost quit acting to pursue a career in law. At the time, Ferrea had already made her film debut in “Real Women Have Curves” and was studying theater and international relations at the University of Southern California. Fortunately, Ferrea was advised to go into acting. Now, she excels in both areas.

There is no shortage of causes that Ferrera valiantly fights for. Net-A-Porter.com highlights Ferrea’s accomplishments and accolades in her work as an activist, including the Ally for Equality Award, and credits her for helping to kickstart the Time’s Up movement by supporting victims of sexual assault and sharing her own story.

As the daughter of Honduras immigrants, Ferrera is also quick to address issues surrounding immigration. In response to policies in 2018 that separated immigrant children from their families, America tweeted a call to action urging followers to join her in demanding an end to the destruction of families. Authorship is included on her impressive resume with the release of her book “America Like Me” in 2018, which serves as a platform for immigrant voices.

In 2016, Ferrea and her husband created Harness, a non-profit that encourages celebrities to utilize their platforms for change and urges the television and film industry to be more inclusive. Thanks to Harness, and Ferrera, the Democratic campaign trail was supported by celebrities like Natalie Portman and Alicia Keys.

Ferrea’s impact is immeasurable. Not only did she open the space in Hollywood for Latina women through her groundbreaking role in Ugly Betty, but she continues to create the framework for more representation through her own projects and productions. Her work beyond the set speaks volumes to her giving character and driven spirit. As a woman who can and will do it all, America Ferrera embodies the ultimate feminist icon.

Meghan Lex is a freshman at St. Bonaventure University from New Jersey. She is a new member at Her Campus SBU, but plans to write pieces surrounding mental health, entertainment, and campus life! She currently studies communications. Technically, she's a "Undeclared Communications" major at the moment because it gives her the opportunity to explore all of the different aspects of the field! As a freshman, she is extremely excited to try new things, and sign up for different clubs and experiences on campus. Evidently, she is a part of the women's cross country and track team, SBU@SPCA, Freshman Leadership Program, and the Student Athletes Wellness Club.